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I’ve made stuffed bell peppers, stuffed banana peppers, and even stuffed portobello mushrooms a thousand times before, but a stuffed poblano peppers recipe with chicken and cheese? You guys, I don’t know why I waited so long. With chicken, cheese, plenty of Mexican flavors, and quick prep time, there’s so much to love about them.
In addition to taco salad and barbacoa on everything, this has become one of my favorite healthy Mexican meals. I happen to think this is one of the best poblano pepper recipes out there. If you haven’t branched out beyond regular bell peppers, now is the time.
Stuffed Poblano Peppers: Why You’ll Love Them
- Filling tastes both creamy and spicy
- Loads of Mexican flavor
- Tender roasted poblano peppers
- Easy to make with simple ingredients
- Ready in 25 minutes
- Naturally low carb and gluten-free
- Easy healthy dinner for busy weeknights
What Are Poblano Peppers?
Poblano peppers are a mild type of Mexican chile pepper. They are dark green, sweet, just mildly spicy, and about the size of green bell peppers (or sometimes larger).
Stuffed poblano pepper recipes can be cooked much like regular stuffed bell peppers and can have many different types of fillings. Mexican flavors work best with this type of pepper. Some versions suggest that you peel the skin (after blistering, much like roasted red peppers), but it’s extra work and I don’t find it necessary at all.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for stuffed poblano peppers, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Poblano Peppers – You’ll need three large peppers. But if you can only find smaller ones, that’s totally fine and you might just need more of them to fit all the filling. If you have extras, use them to make chile verde next.
- Butter – For sauteing the garlic. I don’t normally use butter for sauteing, but since it’s just over medium heat, I opted for (unsalted) butter this time for flavor. Feel free to use olive oil or avocado oil instead.
- Garlic – Mince it fresh for the best flavor, or get jarred garlic for convenience. If you love aromatics, you can saute some onion along with the garlic.
- Shredded Chicken – You can make your own chicken breast in the Instant Pot quickly, or shred rotisserie chicken from the store for a shortcut. Chopped baked chicken breast also works in a pinch, but shredded absorbs the liquids and flavors better. You can also make the same stuffed poblano peppers recipe with ground beef, ground turkey, or ground pork instead of chicken.
- Diced Tomatoes – Get the canned kind like this. Don’t drain it, as you’ll need the liquid. Tomato sauce can also work, but the texture of the filling will be different.
- Taco Seasoning – For all the Mexican flavor! I make my own taco seasoning mix using spices I have at home. It’s a simple blend of chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne. Store bought is also fine to use, but if yours is unsalted, add one teaspoon of salt.
- Cream Cheese – Makes the filling creamy and cuts some of the heat. Dice it into small pieces to help it melt easily into the filling.
- Cheddar Cheese – For a melted cheese topping. I used shredded cheddar, but you can also use a Mexican cheese blend, Monterey Jack, or even sliced cheese if that’s what you have on hand.
- Fresh Cilantro – Optional, for garnish.
How To Make Stuffed Poblano Peppers
This section shows how to make poblano stuffed peppers, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Prep the peppers. Slice the peppers in half and remove seeds. Place them onto a lined sheet pan.
- Make stuffing. In a large skillet, melt the butter and saute the garlic. Add the shredded chicken, diced tomatoes, and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer. The mixture will be liquid at first, but reduces to a thick filling after simmering.
- Stir in cream cheese. This mellows out the filling and makes it creamy!
- Fill. Stuff the filling into the poblano peppers and place, open side up, on baking sheet. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
- Bake. Roast stuffed poblanos in the oven, until peppers are soft and cheese is melted. Garnish with cilantro.
It’s easy to customize poblano pepper recipes! Try these variations:
- Vegetarian – Make vegetarian stuffed poblano peppers by omitting the chicken and replacing it with the same amount of cooked black beans, corn, or quinoa.
- Add Rice – This is a low carb dish as-is. If that’s not for you, you can serve it with rice on the side, or replace half of the chicken with cooked rice.
- Swap The Meat – Replace chicken with leftover Mexican chorizo, taco meat, shredded pollo asado, or pulled brisket to make beef or chorizo stuffed poblano peppers.
- Shrimp Filling – To create shrimp stuffed poblanos, make roasted poblanos first in the oven (about 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees F), then fill with shrimp fajitas. (This option is a lot like one of my versions of stuffed sweet potatoes, with poblano peppers instead of potatoes.)
- Air Fryer – Speed up this recipe by using your air fryer! Cook at 350 degrees F for just about 10 minutes.
- Store: Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
- Meal prep: You can prep the peppers (cut and remove the seeds), make the filling, and assemble the filling ahead. Store them in a covered baking dish in the fridge for up to 1-3 days. Then, simply bake as directed.
- Freeze: Stuffed poblano pepper recipes freeze very well, and you can do so before or after baking. Place them into a casserole dish and cover tightly with foil and/or plastic wrap. Alternatively, you can wrap each individual pepper with plastic wrap and store in the freezer. Either method will last for about 2 months in the freezer.
- Reheat: You can reheat the cooked peppers in the microwave, or in the oven at 350 degrees F. If frozen, you can thaw Mexican stuffed poblano peppers in the fridge overnight for faster re-heating, or bake from frozen — it will just take longer.
What To Serve With Stuffed Poblano Peppers
These chicken and cheese stuffed poblano peppers make a flavorful meal all on their own, but if you want to add a little something, here are a few ideas:
- Rice – White rice, brown rice, or cauliflower rice (or cilantro lime cauliflower rice) makes the most popular side dish for stuffed poblanos.
- Veggies – Try roasted asparagus for a quick option, patty pan squash in the summer months, or for a Mexican feast, elote.
- Salads – Serve with a simple tomato cucumber avocado salad, make-ahead three bean salad, or cilantro lime taco slaw.
- Toppings – Add guacamole, sour cream, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Salsa (either regular tomato salsa or salsa verde) also makes a great addition to poblano pepper recipes. You could even drizzle with enchilada sauce for a burst of rich, spicy flavor to each bite.
More Stuffed Pepper Recipes
If you love stuffed peppers, here are more varieties to try:
Stuffed Poblano Peppers Recipe
Stuffed Poblano Peppers Recipe
Try this stuffed poblano peppers recipe with Mexican taco seasoned chicken & cheese filling. Simple ingredients + takes just 25 minutes!
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Place them onto a lined baking sheet. Set aside.
In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Add the shredded chicken, diced tomatoes (with liquid), and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the extra liquid is absorbed into the chicken.
Reduce heat to low. Stir in the cream cheese, pressing with the back of a spoon or spatula to help it mix in, until melted and smooth.
Stuff the filling into the poblano peppers and place, open side up, back onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of each pepper half, about 2 tablespoons (28 grams) each.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until peppers are soft and cheese is melted. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.
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Serving size: 1 stuffed pepper
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